Studies & Numbers

Swedish Researchers Find Consumers Choose Fungi-Based Food for Sustainability and Well-Being Benefits

Swedish researchers conducted a study to examine whether consumers select fungi-based food due to its sustainability advantages. The findings show that engaging with fungi-based food is perceived to contribute to sustainability and is thought to promote glocal (a portmanteau of global and local) well-being.

“This study isn’t just about fungi-based food; it’s a deeper exploration of how our food choices can align with our values”

The study argues that as the consumption of fungi-based food continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to understand whether consumers align their choices with personal values related to sustainability.

Awareness and knowledge of the benefits of fungi and plant-based food are vital to encourage consumers and influence their food choices, which can contribute to global social, economic, and environmental sustainability, explain the authors. 

The research has been funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology and includes the collaboration of Dr. Coralie Hellwig, Chief Product Officer at Millow, a Swedish alt meat company leveraging the power of mycelium and oats.

Classic Cutlets and Steaks Grilling
Classic Cutlets and Steaks © Meati

How is fungi-based food perceived?

The researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine how participants perceive the outcomes or impacts of their consumption of fungi-based food. The study focused on two main reflections of 160 participants: eco-ethical and glocal reflections. 

Regarding the eco-ethical reflections, participants were asked whether engaging with fungi-based food benefits the environment. Most of the 160 participants expressed a positive outlook, believing that embracing fungi-based food could promote increased sustainability and overall well-being for humans and the environment in numerous ways.

Glocal reflections, on the other hand, involved participants considering whether their engagement with fungi-based food benefits people in their local community and globally. The study found that participants perceived their engagement with this kind of food to have positive impacts that extend to their local population and people in other parts of the world.

A banner presenting the sustainablility figures of Millow
© Millow

Fact-based information for food choices

While the study revealed positive insights into participants’ awareness of the consequences of engaging with fungi-based food, it also highlighted several concerns. 

Participants said they look forward to transparent, accessible, trustworthy, and fact-based information. They emphasized the importance of having reliable resources to make informed decisions and engage in eco-ethical reflections.

According to the authors, the results underscore the necessity for transparent and reliable information to support individuals in making informed decisions and aligning their actions with their eco-ethical reflections. 

“This study isn’t just about fungi-based food; it’s a deeper exploration of how our food choices can align with our values and contribute to a sustainable future. It highlights the necessity of knowledge and awareness in making food choices that benefit us, our communities, and our planet,” Dr Hellwig of Millow shared on social media.

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